Ravens nip Indianapolis to spoil Luck’s homecoming

Published 1:45 pm Tuesday, August 21, 2018

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Baltimore Ravens spoiled Andrew Luck’s Indianapolis homecoming.

They picked him off before allowing a completion, and Terrell Suggs nearly chopped the ball out of Luck’s hands on a sack. The Ravens then secured a 20-19 preseason win over the Colts by stopping a late 2-point conversion run.

Luck was just OK in his first home start since Jan. 1, 2017. But he did receive a roaring ovation from the crowd when he took the field, led the Colts to one score and apparently emerged unscathed after going down twice on sacks.

“Not too sharp, certainly red-zone turnovers are a negative, missed a couple of throws I’d like to hit,” he said. “And I didn’t feel like we, as an offense, got into any semblance of a sustained rhythm.”

Expectations were high following a solid start in Seattle.

This time, the Colts (1-1) looked sloppy.

Luck missed his first three throws, the third winding up in the hands of Ravens safety Anthony Levine Jr. Luck rebounded to finish 6 of 13 for 50 yards and set up 45-year-old Adam Vinatieri for a 57-yard field before leaving in the second quarter.

If Luck had his way, he might have played longer. But first-year coach Frank Reich wasn’t taking any chances with Luck’s surgically repaired arm.

“We just never found a rhythm for him and some of his balls were not his best balls,” he said. “But I still have a lot of confidence we’re headed in the right direction.”

Joe Flacco, Lamar Jackson and the Ravens looked better.

Flacco went 7 of 9 for 72 yards and one touchdown. Jackson then showed flashes of what helped him win the 2016 Heisman Trophy.

Jackson was 7 of 15 for 49 yards and a TD and carried four times for 26 yards before giving way to another Heisman winner, Robert Griffin III, in the fourth quarter.

Indy still had a chance at the end after Tarell Basham recovered a fumble at the Ravens 9. Five plays later, Phillip Walker threw a 9-yard TD pass to Zach Pascal with 2:24 left. But the Ravens (3-0) stopped Walker on the 2-point try, recovered the onside kick and ran out the clock.

“Happy to get the win,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. “We did a lot of things that weren’t winning football, especially in the second half.”

The Ravens made it tough on Indy all night.

They stopped Indy twice in the red zone and nearly had a third when Jordan Wilkins fumbled the ball into the end zone, where it bounced right into the hands of receiver Chester Rogers.

Flacco gave the Ravens a 7-3 lead early in the second quarter when he hooked up with John Brown on a 7-yard score, and Jackson’s masterful hurry-up drive at the end of the first half ended with Justin Tucker’s 38-yard field goal with 2 seconds left.

When Colts rookie Nyheim Hines fumbled away the opening kickoff of the second half, Jackson hooked up with Chris Moore on a 7-yard TD pass to make it 17-10.

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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Baltimore Ravens spoiled Andrew Luck’s Indianapolis homecoming.

They picked him off before allowing a completion, and Terrell Suggs nearly chopped the ball out of Luck’s hands on a sack. The Ravens then secured a 20-19 preseason win over the Colts by stopping a late 2-point conversion run.

Luck was just OK in his first home start since Jan. 1, 2017. But he did receive a roaring ovation from the crowd when he took the field, led the Colts to one score and apparently emerged unscathed after going down twice on sacks.

“Not too sharp, certainly red-zone turnovers are a negative, missed a couple of throws I’d like to hit,” he said. “And I didn’t feel like we, as an offense, got into any semblance of a sustained rhythm.”

Expectations were high following a solid start in Seattle.

This time, the Colts (1-1) looked sloppy.

Luck missed his first three throws, the third winding up in the hands of Ravens safety Anthony Levine Jr. Luck rebounded to finish 6 of 13 for 50 yards and set up 45-year-old Adam Vinatieri for a 57-yard field before leaving in the second quarter.

If Luck had his way, he might have played longer. But first-year coach Frank Reich wasn’t taking any chances with Luck’s surgically repaired arm.

“We just never found a rhythm for him and some of his balls were not his best balls,” he said. “But I still have a lot of confidence we’re headed in the right direction.”

Joe Flacco, Lamar Jackson and the Ravens looked better.

Flacco went 7 of 9 for 72 yards and one touchdown. Jackson then showed flashes of what helped him win the 2016 Heisman Trophy.

Jackson was 7 of 15 for 49 yards and a TD and carried four times for 26 yards before giving way to another Heisman winner, Robert Griffin III, in the fourth quarter.

Indy still had a chance at the end after Tarell Basham recovered a fumble at the Ravens 9. Five plays later, Phillip Walker threw a 9-yard TD pass to Zach Pascal with 2:24 left. But the Ravens (3-0) stopped Walker on the 2-point try, recovered the onside kick and ran out the clock.

“Happy to get the win,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. “We did a lot of things that weren’t winning football, especially in the second half.”

The Ravens made it tough on Indy all night.

They stopped Indy twice in the red zone and nearly had a third when Jordan Wilkins fumbled the ball into the end zone, where it bounced right into the hands of receiver Chester Rogers.

Flacco gave the Ravens a 7-3 lead early in the second quarter when he hooked up with John Brown on a 7-yard score, and Jackson’s masterful hurry-up drive at the end of the first half ended with Justin Tucker’s 38-yard field goal with 2 seconds left.

When Colts rookie Nyheim Hines fumbled away the opening kickoff of the second half, Jackson hooked up with Chris Moore on a 7-yard TD pass to make it 17-10.

———

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. (AP) — The Los Angeles Rams continue to finalize contract extensions for players other than standout defensive tackle Aaron Donald, as right tackle Rob Havenstein on Monday agreed to terms of a four-year deal through the 2022 season worth $32.5 million.

Coach Sean McVay said Havenstein, who has started 43 games over the past three seasons since being drafted in the second round in 2015, had earned the new contract by “becoming one of the more consistent right tackles in this league.”

Havenstein made 15 regular-season starts last year as the Rams led the league in scoring at 29.9 points per game and won the NFC West for the first time since 2003 in McVay’s first season.

“This was a dream, a hope, a goal when I first got drafted to St. Louis, and now we’re (in) LA, obviously,” said Havenstein, who will play out the final year of his rookie contract this season. “The longer I can spend here, the better. I absolutely love this staff, love the team we have here.”

Havenstein is the third member of the Rams’ offense to sign an extension this offseason, all while Donald continues his holdout for the second consecutive year.

Todd Gurley agreed to a four-year, $60 million extension through 2023 last month, the most lucrative deal for a running back in NFL history with $45 million in guaranteed money.

Wide receiver Brandin Cooks received a five-year extension through 2023 last month after the Rams traded first- and sixth-round draft picks to New England in April to acquire him.

“It’s a great opportunity to continue to keep that continuity,” McVay said. “You always want to take care of your own, especially if that’s something that is available and those guys demonstrate that they are deserving of that.”

McVay said there was no update regarding the status of Donald, with the 2017 Defensive Player of the Year and three-time first-team All-Pro seeking a new contract that would likely make him the highest-paid defensive player ever. His rookie contract will end after this season, but because he didn’t report by Aug. 7, he will be a restricted free agent after the season instead of an unrestricted free agent.

The contract status of Donald is a large piece in a complex puzzle for general manager Les Snead.

Quarterback Jared Goff will be eligible for a contract extension after this season, and starting guards Rodger Saffold and Jason Brown will be free agents at the end of 2018.

Havenstein hopes the offensive line can remain intact after this season, but recognizes financial considerations might not make that possible.

Either way, he was looking forward to paying for a celebratory dinner with the whole offensive line group soon, perhaps as early as this week.

“We got a weigh-in Wednesday, so at least push it until then,” Havenstein said.

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GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Injuries and unexpected developments have left the Green Bay Packers thin at running back with just two camp practices and two games left in the preseason.

Only Ty Montgomery, who has overcome injury issues in the past, and little-known halfback Joel Bouagnon have made it through camp unscathed.

The Packers were forced to sign Bronson Hill and LeShun Daniels over the weekend to replenish depth.

Hill spent two games on Arizona’s 53-man roster after bouncing around a host of practice squads. Daniels played four games for Washington last season.

“We’re a little thin at running back,” coach Mike McCarthy said Monday. “We’ve got a number of different balls in the air, (more) than I recall at this particular juncture of a training camp.”

A hamstring injury has forced Aaron Jones to miss most of camp. Jones, who has yet to play in a preseason game after a breakout rookie season, will miss the Sept. 9 regular-season opener against Chicago and the Sept. 16 game against Minnesota after being suspended by the NFL for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.

Jones injured his hamstring early in camp and took part in 11-on-11 team drills for the first time again on Monday.

“Hopefully Aaron will get to go more into Oakland,” McCarthy said.

Jamaal Williams said Monday that his ankle injury suffered in last week’s preseason win over Pittsburgh was the result of Steelers linebacker Vince Williams grabbing and twisting it at the end of a run.

Jamaal Williams did not practice Monday, but took handoffs and appeared to move well during a workout with the medical staff. He said he planned on kicking the next defensive player who does what he says Vince Williams did.

“If the ref asks why I’m kicking, I’ll be like, ‘Hey, he’s twisting ankles.’ I’m just going to do what I’ve got to do to survive honestly,” the running back said.

“I’m not trying to get hurt and not be able to play anymore because somebody wants to be aggressive and do dirty things like that. So why can I not protect myself from those type of injuries?”

Devante Mays, who made the team as a seventh-round pick last year, won’t play again this week because of a lingering hamstring injury. He is running out of time to make the roster, McCarthy said.

“There’s a sense of urgency,” Mays said. “I want to get back out there as soon as I can. But I also want to be smart with it because if I try to push it too fast and go back out there, then it’s more disappointment.”

And there’s the unexpected retirement of promising rookie Akeem Judd, who was placed on the reserve/retired list after informing McCarthy on Friday that he was walking away from the game.

McCarthy said he was disappointed that Judd, who joined the team a week into camp after Jones’ and Mays’ injuries, decided to walk away but respected his decision. Judd became the third young player in the past month to tell the Packers that he was retiring, joining linebacker Parris Bennett and wide receiver Michael Clark.

Judd had an 11-yard run against Tennessee in the preseason opener and showed enough promise that McCarthy had planned to give him more opportunities this week.